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Schumer Says Ending Marijuana Prohibition A Top Priority

The bill would lift the federal prohibition on marijuana and allow state-legal Cannabis businesses access to banking


Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said on the Senate floor that he will use his clout to make legislation ending the federal prohibition on marijuana a top priority, reports The Hill.

The federal prohibition on marijuana would be ended. The legislation would also allow state-compliant Cannabis businesses to have access to financial services such as bank accounts and loans. 

The federal Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. That has resulted in an estimated 40,000 Americans behind bars because of cannabis-related offenses, according to Forbes.

Schumer: “I’m Going To Push This Issue Forward”

“I am the first majority leader to say it’s time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana,” Schumer said. “And as majority leader, I’m going to push this issue forward and make it a priority for the Senate.”

Schumer on Thursday said the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would make “monumental change.”

Marijuana would be removed from the federal list of controlled substances. The bill would also expunge the criminal records of those with low-level marijuana offenses. 

“It Makes Eminent Sense To Legalize Marijuana”

The Majority Leader on Thursday doubled down on remarks a day earlier at a press conference. Wednesday’s conference introduced a draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.

“It makes eminent sense to legalize marijuana,” Schumer said on Wednesday. “A number of states, including my own of New York, just legalized recently. The doom and gloom predictions haven’t materialized in any of these states. And as more and more states legalize marijuana, it’s time for our federal cannabis law to catch up.” 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) are cosponsors of the legislation.

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